cover image Yesterday’s Kin

Yesterday’s Kin

Nancy Kress. Tachyon (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-61696-175-6

America turns its back on the world in the name of economic protectionism, but is forced to acknowledge the greater universe when the extraterrestrial Denebs—revealed to be lost descendants of humans mysteriously banished from Earth 150,000 years ago—settle in New York Harbor. Geneticist Marianne Jenner is recruited by the Denebs for unspecified assistance, and she faces a fast-approaching deadline: an interstellar spore cloud that has already swept two Deneb worlds clean of human life will reach Earth in 10 months’ time. There’s plenty of modern science in the story, but the plot’s twists and moral quality feel oddly reminiscent of golden-age stories. Kress has received numerous accolades and awards for her previous works, but this perfunctory novel does little to demonstrate her talents. (Sept.)